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How about those Italians

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21. Posted by amanecer (Respected Member 203 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!


...i have learnt that italians too hate bad service.
the months of june, july and august are also a factor in the ripoff situation, there are just too many tourists around for proprietors to care.
avoid restaurants and vendors beside major monuments, find a supermarket and stock up on bottled water, a 6 pack of 1.5lt bottles should cost no more than €3.00.

only tip if you think they deserve it, italians are bad tippers anyway so don't feel obliged.
rome drivers are actually pretty skilful, eyeball them as you cross the road, walk quickly, don't run, and don't stop. they will come close but won't touch. (if you want really bad go to naples)

I completely agree with you.
F.e. I often go to Rome, to visit my boyfriend. Once we went to have dinner in a very popular pizzeria in the centre, called baffetto. Romans and tourists go there, there was a long queue outside, beacause pizza it's good (true) and prices low(true). BUT the owner is VERY rude, with everyone (tourists and locals). So I'll never come back again there, and I suggest everyone to avoid this restaurant. It doesn't matter if I'm a tourist abroad or a citizen in my country: I claim to be respected wherever I go.

tips:we are not used to tip. We only do it if we think we've had a good treatment. So don't worry for tips..

drivers in big cities: as i told many times, romans drive very fast, regardless if they drive cars or motorbikes. In naples the situation it's even worst. pay attention when you cross the road.:)

22. Posted by maba (Inactive 227 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Interesting about rudeness, we actually went on a 2 week tour there this year. I guess we were 'trapped' as part of a tour group and so were mainly exposed to the 'touristy' aspect of Italian life.
Our guide made a point of saying that the Northern Italians were rude and the Southerners were friendly (he was from Naples as was the driver!!). So hey, I took this advise cautiously and made up my own mind.

We spent 1 week in Rome after the tour and managed to interact quite well with the locals eg. at the delicatessens (lovely meats, cheese, eggplant.. mmmm), supermercato, train station, marker sellers, restaurants, police and train inspectors. All were fine to deal with.

I really think, if you are polite & respectful you will be treated well anywhere. Don't take too much cr@p from street vendors. Try to speak a little bit of the language and smile a lot - I did.

We actually found all the Italians friendly. The extremes were in Venice (Northern Italy) where a very friendly store keeper was elated when I asked where can I get some good 'Grappa' to take back home (for my cafe corretto). The opposite was all the staff in the Sorrento hotel we stayed in looked like gangsters and did not crack a smile the whole time we were there. I just ate my breakfast of salami, cheese & dry cake, washed it down with the cold coffee and was glad to leave them. I did stop to get some limonchello, now that's nice to sip on - but in moderation.

I loved Italia and will go back, but not on a guided tour next time.
PS. we were dissapointed with the food though. But next time I will avoid the quickie take aways.

23. Posted by Gusiluz (Full Member 77 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Quoting ozman

We have never been to a country in Europe (and I have been to 15 others including Spain and Holland) where people were so cynically out to get our money.

Must I conclude that Spain and the Netherlands are the other two masters of cynism ?

I agree on that 'context culture' thing mentioned before. In Spain it's usual that you order your drinks in a bar or restaurant and the waiter looks at you in silence with that expresion of Robert de Niro in 'Taxi Driver', that many tourists may take as a rude 'Are you talking to me?' while for me it means a clear (if gentle) 'do you need anything else?'. I've seen this a thousand times at home.

Another example can be found in the 'Please....thank you' process. For a tourist somewhere in southern Europe it may seem rude the lack of 'pleases' and 'thank yous' in our conversations. For me, well I've found myself overwhelmed under tons of 'please this, please that' in London. In Italy, in Spain, in Greece 'Thank you' is already included in the way you look or the way the sentence is pronounced.

24. Posted by amishone (First Time Poster 1 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

We were shocked by how rude Italians are. We were expecting warmth and friendliness - it actually took us a few days to realize that nearly everyone we encountered in Rome, Florence and Venice was incredibly rude. With the exception of hotel staff and a few people at restaurants and shops, no one wanted to answer questions or engage in conversation at all, in English or Italian. We were in London for several days before getting to Italy, and the contrast between the polite, friendly Brits and the rude Italians was striking.

25. Posted by ozman (Full Member 118 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Sorry if I offended anyone out there by comparing the manners of the Dutch and the Spanish with those of the Italians. They are both clearly much better, I just felt they were the closest point of comparison.

The Dutch in Amsterdam only really seem interested in your Euros, but the rest of them are just fine. As for the Spanish, it probably is true that the lack of "pleases" and "thankyous" in there lingual culture make them seem abrupt to one of British/Australian extraction. I did use "Graci" there a lot and a lot of them just looked at me with a strange expression. It also took me a while to learn that "prego" is not used exactly the same way as an English speaker would use "you're welcome."

There is some pretty off-handed customer service in London also; so they should get a mention too. Although, it should be said that I have never really had such wonderful service as I did when enquiring as to the whereabouts of the public toilets at Buckhingham Palace Art Gallery.

In Australia, there is an advertisement on TV that encourages us to be friendly to visitors. Surely Italy could do with something similar, albeit they would have to run the ad a whole lot more!

Amishone, I am glad you got good service from your motel staff! Our concierge could have been a bouncer at a Hell's Angels club!


26. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!


I love the landscape, the cities, the towns, etc.
But i do remember a lot of over charging. In fact, if i did not check my change everytime, I would have overpayed everytime.

I think the sexual harassment for women in Italy is becomming much less, thankfully. At least this is what i have heard from several young girls, who went there. When I first went there it was non stop. Sure i like flattery and compliments, but when guys dont take no, for an answer.....


27. Posted by Nelmarie (First Time Poster 1 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I have travelled to Italy quite a number of times during the past 10 years, and I couldn't DISAGREE with you more! In the cities and especially in the smaller towns and billages we were always treated VERY KINDLY. Maybe the fact that I decided to learn a little Italian (instead of assuming that everybody has to be able to speak English) helped, but I speak better German than Italian, and I found the German much more distant and "cold" than the Italians. Italy is a wonderful country with kind people - of course you will find rude people in every country in the world, but to generalize that to saying that the Italians (or 90% of them) are rude people, I do not agree with. I have had some of the best travelling experiences in Italy, involving very kind and considerate Italian people.

28. Posted by rtan3005 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I just got back from a 2 week tour of Italy... the people were generally friendly, but there were plenty of hustlers further south. I got mugged very professionally in the Rome metro!! It was squashed like a can of sardines when we managed to board the train at central station and within 1-2 mins, I realised my wallet, which was zipped up in my jacket front pocket was missing!!! Next thing I knew, a lady 'found' my wallet on the train floor ... everything still intact, but a couple of hundred euros gone. I considered myself lucky that everything else was still there!

Hard sellers were also in abundance... we got nicked 10 euros by this italian guy on the top of spanish stairs in florence... he spoke to my fiancee when I was snapping pictures and proceeded to tie some strings on her wrist without her consent... next thing, 3-4 guys approached us and demanded for 10 euros. Bastards!!!!

The friendlier ones were in abundance particularly in Venice and Milan.

29. Posted by hil357 (Budding Member 11 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I only read the original post, so sorry if I'm repeating anything. I went to Rome last June and had a completely different experience. All the Italians I met were very friendly and helpful. While there I had a problem with my foot (its a long story) and had many friendly Italians asking me if I was all right and giving me advice and just being helpful. In the shops everyone was very helpful, especially if they spoke good english. Maybe you just had a bad attitude and came across as an annoying American tourist while my friends and I are young and good looking with a good fashion sense. I know that last statement might have sounded very conceited, but Italians prize outward appearances very highly, and its possible that people who look like dumpy American tourists get treated worse by the locals.

30. Posted by maba (Inactive 227 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

You probably had good intentions in the comments you posted - but your reply lost credibility once you started stereotyping.

You show quite some prejudice for a 16 YO.
..bad attitude !! anoying American !! .. How did the Italians that didn't speak good english treat you ?
"my friends are young and good looking with good fashion sense" - Doh.. by what measure do you base that on - your mirrors !!

If you read the post, the originator was from the UK and yes, you are conceited. Your valid reply on the subject was lost amongst your degrading insults. I hope your attitude changes as you mature.

For us, the Italians were normal and friendly, the same as most people are and, the Americans we encontered (in particular those on our Tour of Italy) were great company and friendly.

Cheers and lighten up